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Douglas Young Appointed Special Master in Wit v. United Behavioral Health

February 10, 2021 Announcement

Chief Magistrate Judge Joseph C. Spero of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California has appointed Douglas R. Young to serve as special master in the Wit v. United Behavioral Health class action. As special master, Doug will serve as an independent monitor to oversee and verify UBH’s compliance with the injunctive relief ordered by Judge Spero.

This is Doug’s sixth appointment as a special master by the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. Doug is a fellow of the Academy of Court-Appointed Masters. He also acted as counsel to a special committee of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit investigating claims of judicial misconduct. In 2019-2020, Doug served as president of the American College of Trial Lawyers and chair of the Advisory Board of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. 

After a bench trial, Judge Spero found that UBH violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by creating and adopting coverage criteria for residential treatment of mental illness or substance use disorders that were more restrictive than generally accepted standards of care and the class members’ insurance plans. The court ordered UBH to adopt and use guidelines that are consistent with generally accepted standards of care and to reprocess class members claims using the guidelines, and mandated that UBH adopt protocols to train its employees and executives on the guidelines and UBH’s duties under ERISA.


 

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